Thanks for the pointer to bug 4787931
. This does seem to probably be the root cause. Given that the bug has been open and griped about since 2002 I don't think I should wait for a fix.
I agree that I need to continue monitoring for recurrences on my computer, and I'm certainly doing that.
Given that this software is a desktop application meant for commercial sale and use, any identified source of instability is, in my opinion, unacceptable. My Windows XP computer isn't unusual in any particular way, so if the problem occurs for me I have to assume it will bite some our users too - not ok.
Surely other Java applications have needed a reliable way to find a directory for storing files. For example, Eclipse has a default location for the workspace dir. How does the app find the path to such directories reliably?